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Future JD Students

Law School Admission - What to Expect

Oct 17, 2014, 09:25 AM

The Law School Admission Process: What to Expect

The submission of an application for admission to law school is the first step toward becoming a lawyer. Those who aspire to join the legal profession, or law school graduates who wish to advance their legal studies, will be held to the same high standards for truth, full disclosure, and accuracy that are applied to those who practice law. Just as the legal profession has set standards for ethical conduct by lawyers, standards exist for conduct in the admission process. Three documents explain these standards:

Law schools are expected to

  • provide comprehensive consumer information as required by ABA Standard 509.
  • respect the confidential nature of information received about applicants.
  • state clearly what information is being sought in the application.
  • state the applicant’s obligation to provide accurate, current, and complete information.
  • delineate the consequences of providing false, misleading, or incomplete information.
  • not require an enrollment commitment of any kind, binding or nonbinding, prior to April 1, except under binding early decision plans or for academic terms beginning with spring or summer semesters.
  • notify admitted applicants who have submitted a timely financial aid application of any financial aid awards within the control of the law school before requiring an enrollment commitment.
  • submit information to LSAC concerning offers of admission and enrollment commitments in a timely fashion in order to allow other law schools to make accurate predictions concerning the composition of their entering class.
  • maintain waiting lists of reasonable length and only for a reasonable time.

Applicants are expected to

  • research, read, and fully understand the application for admission and financial aid processes, including relevant deadlines.
  • provide accurate and complete information.
  • notify the law school during the admission process of any changes to information requested in the application and be aware of the consequences for failure to provide that information.
  • be aware that it is common for state Boards of Bar Examiners to request a copy of the law school application in order to verify information provided to them in support of an application for admission to practice.
  • understand and comply with LSAC test center regulations and with the obligation to provide accurate and complete information as part of the LSAT and/or Credential Assembly Service (CAS) registration process.
  • understand any special obligations created by applying under a binding early decision plan. Applicants typically may apply only to one law school under a binding early decision plan in each annual admission cycle. In an early decision plan, an applicant and a law school mutually agree at the time of application that the applicant will be given an admission decision at a date earlier than usual in return for the applicant’s commitment, at that date, to attend the law school, to withdraw all applications pending at other law schools, and not to initiate new applications.
  • notify each law school from which an offer of admission is received whether the offer is being accepted or rejected as soon as a decision is made. Doing so may create opportunities for other applicants to be offered a place in an entering class or to receive financial aid resources previously extended to others.
  • confirm the intention to enroll and, if required, submit a deposit by the stated deadline. If placed on a waiting list by a law school and later offered admission to that school, an applicant may accept the offer and submit a deposit, but should notify any law school to which he or she previously indicated an intention to enroll that the decision has changed.
  • be aware that a law school is not required to maintain an offer of admission if it discovers that the applicant has accepted an offer at another institution. Beginning on May 15 of each year, law schools may be provided with information concerning all enrollment commitments to any law school made by those applicants who have indicated an intention to enroll in that school’s entering class. Applicants should be sure that they understand policies on multiple commitment deposits set by schools to which they have applied.

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